Art is a medium of change. It attracts, communicates, and transforms people. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint to change the world’s current trajectory. The hope is build a better and more sustainable future for all. Art has been instrumental in communicating the urgency of the message. However, the art industry can contribute more concretely to specific targets, apart from being the voice that urges change.
What are the SDGs?
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the SDGs to address the world’s most pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges. It provides a roadmap for countries, organisations, and individuals to work together toward a sustainable future. They are based on a holistic and integrated approach that recognizes the interdependence between economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
The SDGs provide a common language and framework for all stakeholders. It brings governments, businesses, civil society organisations, and individuals, together towards a common goal. It provides a shared vision for creating a sustainable and prosperous future for all. Regardless, of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status.
Rooftop’s Commitment to the SDGs & Impact
Rooftop has identified three SDG goals and, among them, four targets that align with our core business and expertise. These aims have been given top priority by Rooftop because they best fit the company’s expertise and main business. Rooftop is helping in achieving the SDGs’ goals through ongoing and new projects. These three objectives are presented in this blog together with Rooftop’s initiatives and programs.
Art Therapy for Mental Health
Art therapy is a well-known beneficent tool that improves mental health and well-being. It provides a safe space for people to express their emotions and experiences, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. By conducting art therapy workshops, Rooftop aims to help achieve target 3.4. The target aims to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promotes mental health and well-being. The goal is to help people destress from their daily struggles and indulge in healing and relaxation through the workshops.
Education and Awareness Through Art
Target 4.7 of SDG focuses on ensuring that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. Including, thorough education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, and gender equality. It promotes a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity. There is also emphasis is on culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
Rooftop’s catalogue of Indian art courses is aimed at providing an art education. We also assure that the learner gets a thorough grounding in the culture of the tribes that originated the art form. Thus, contributing majorly to the target of ensuring global citizenship and promoting a culture of appreciation and peace.
One such initiative that Rooftop took was ‘Phad se Padh’ (meaning study with Phad artform), where students from 24 schools participated in making ‘Phad’ – a Rajasthani tribal way of storytelling through art and music. This gave the students an opportunity to take subjects across the spectrum of STEM and present a performance on a topic with beautiful artwork and songs. This methodology of learning not only ensured greater engagement of the student in learning the topic but also led to the exploration of a 700-year-old art form.
Partnerships for Sustainable Development
Sustainability might seem an unattainable goal, but as past treaties and global cooperation has shown that whenever the world comes together, even the impossible becomes possible. Moreover, building a sustainable future for all is only possible when stakeholders at all levels contribute to the goal. The United Nations SDG targets of 17.16 and 17.17 encourage effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology, and financial resources.
Rooftop has contributed to the achievement of the goals by making collaborative efforts for sustainable development, recognition, and promotion of the traditional arts of India. We have collaborated with master artists to create courses that inform the learner on the practice of the art form and also on the culture of the tribe that practised it. We host weekly online workshops in collaboration with folk artists that teach participants motifs and the significance of each art form. Offline workshops are held too whenever it is possible, depending on the availability of the folk artist and other factors.
Our ‘Phad se Padh’ initiative was also a successful collaboration between diverse stakeholders such as schools, art, music, and subject matter teachers, students of different ages, master artists, and Rooftop. Over the course of 10 months, students learned to draw a Phad artwork according the subject topic chosen. They also prepared a performance that went along with the artwork. An exhibition was held at three separate venues showcasing students’ work. It was attended by award-winning folk artists, government dignitaries, and royal figureheads.
Rooftop has just begun its journey, but despite our startup status, we want to keep our commitment to sustainability as a given in our strive for growth. Our belief in building a future for all is very visible in the way our product has been built. At every stage, the folk artist, their work, and their culture have been kept in the spotlight. Our collaborations, workshops, and initiatives have certainly brought about a positive economic impact on the lives of the folk artists and a social awareness among whoever has engaged with our work. This influence and responsibility we wield— we undertake it with a full understanding and continued commitment towards building a sustainable future inclusive of all.